7 pasta recipes to mix up your mid-week meals

Aug 2016Cool Stuff

Pasta is often the staple food of many students. Check out these 7 super easy, quick and delicious pasta recipes below to mix it up from your classic pasta and pesto.

Creamy garlic pasta

The quantities below make about four servings – perfect to split with your housemates or to freeze separately and eat later

1 bowl of penne or fusilli pasta
85g salted butter
5 cloves of garlic (mmmmmmm garlicy)
4 tbsp plain flour
350ml whole milk
225g grated parmesan
Chicken stock cube
Salt and pepper to taste


A few sprigs of parsley
Broccoli, asparagus or peas


  1. Boil a saucepan of water and stir in a generous sprinkle of salt. Then add the pasta and cook according to instructions.
  2. Once cooked, drain the pasta and set aside for later.
  3. Mince the garlic. Chop up any vegetables you are adding to the pasta and cook.
  4. In another saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat. Then add the garlic and cook for about 90 seconds.
  5. Add the flour and cook for another 90 seconds, continuously stirring.
  6. Slowly add milk, still stirring. Then, crumble in the stock cube into the liquid.
  7. Keep stirring until the sauce begins to boil and thicken. Once it has thickened, add the parmesan.
  8. Continue to stir until the cheese has melted.
  9. Add in your vegetables and parsley to the pan.
  10. Finally, add in the pasta and stir until everything is coated in the sauce.

Roasted red pepper and garlic pasta

You’ll need a blender or smoothie maker for this one to make a smooth sauce – but the result is just delicious. Even better, you can refrigerate or freeze the sauce and make the pasta fresh every time

450g pasta of your choice (we used fettuccine)
6 red peppers (you could probably mix it up and use yellow and orange ones too, but red taste the best)
8 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
½ white onion
2 tbsp butter
2 chicken stock cubes
75ml double cream
75ml semi-skimmed milk
175g grated parmesan
1 tbsp dried mixed herbs (you can buy shakers in shops)
Salt and pepper to taste
(Optional:) Feta to serve


  1. Set oven to 180 degrees for a fan or 200 degrees for conventional ovens. Cut the peppers into quarters and remove all the seeds and membrane.
  2. Place all the quarters skin side up and bake for 10-15 minutes until all the skins are blackened.
  3. Once they’re baked, take them out of the oven and put them in a ziploc bag and seal it. After about 10 minutes, peel the skins off (they should slide straight off!) and then roughly chop. Mince the garlic.
  4. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet.
  5. In another saucepan, brown the onions in the olive oil. Once they are soft, add the chopped peppers and garlic and stir until heated through.
  6. Once heated, put into your blender/smoothie maker and blend until smooth.
  7. In the saucepan, melt the butter and then add the pepper puree. Add the cream and milk, and crumble the stock cubes into the mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and add the parmesan and herbs.
  9. Add the pasta and stir through until all coated.
  10. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan/feta and herbs over the top.


Pizza pasta

Yes, it is actually pasta. But pizza. Need we say more?

250g sausage (you can use any)
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
350g pepperoni
700g tomato basil pasta sauce
475ml water
250g fusilli
Salt and pepper to taste
700g mozzarella


  1. Heat a large, deep frying pan on a medium heat.
  2. Finely chop the onion and mince garlic. Roughly slice the sausages and mozzarella.
  3. Add a dash of oil to the pan. Heat the oil and then add the onion and sausage. Cook until the sausage is completely cooked through and the onions are soft.
  4. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Then add the pepperoni to heat.
  5. Once warmed through, pour over the pasta sauce and the water and stir until everything is covered.
  6. Stir in the pasta to the pan and bring to a boil.
  7. Boil the pasta and liquid for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Stir in the mozzarella until melted, and serve immediately.


Spinach and ricotta pasta

This pasta is so easy to make, and is really versatile – add chicken, more vegetables, more cheese…

250g pasta
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
125ml milk
350g ricotta cheese
200g spinach
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, and add the pasta. Cook following the packet’s instructions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the spinach in a frying pan until it begins to wilt. Finely chop the garlic and then add to the pan with the olive oil.
  3. Cook over a medium heat for around a minute, or until the garlic becomes soft, but not browned.
  4. Add the milk and ricotta and stir in well. Heat the sauce until it comes to a simmer.
  5. The sauce will thicken as it’s cooked. Once it’s thick enough to coat a spoon, season with salt and pepper.
  6. Drain the pasta into a colander, leaving a small amount of the water in the saucepan just in case the sauce becomes too thick.
  7. Add the drained pasta to the sauce, and toss the pasta to coat it. If the sauce becomes too thick or dry, simply add some of the pasta water.


Spicy garlic chicken penne with peas

This simple dish can be made as spicy or as mild as you like – follow our recipe for a delicious meal with a bit of a kick

450g chicken breast
250g penne pasta
200g peas
1 tbsp olive oil
6 minced garlic cloves
1 can/tube tomato puree
200g mozzarella
100g double cream
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
A few basil leaves


  1. Cut chicken breasts in half, and rub with salt, the red pepper flakes, and basil on both sides.
  2. Heat the olive oil on a high heat in a large, deep frying pan. Add the chicken, and cook for 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, and cover with a lid. Let the chicken rest in the hot pan where it will continue to cook.
  4. After 10-15 minutes, remove the chicken and cut into cubes. Place in a bowl and set aside.
  5. Cook the penne according to the package instructions. 3 minutes before the end, you will be adding the peas.
  6. In the frying pan, add some olive oil, the garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook on a medium heat until the garlic is fragrant.
  7. Add the tomato puree and the basil, and stir until boiling. Then, immediately reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Grate the mozzarella into the sauce (or chop it finely and then add) and stir until the cheese is completely melted. As soon as it has melted, add the double cream and stir to combine.
  9. Drain the pasta and peas, and add it along with the chicken to the sauce. Mix to combine.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Honey lemon chicken spaghetti

Quick and easy, yet tastes just the right amount of sweet and sour

225g spaghetti
4 boneless chicken breasts
170g honey
75ml lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
A few leaves of thyme to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon wedges to serve


  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions, and then drain and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, mix the honey, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and thyme.
  3. Chop the chicken into bite-size pieces, and then cook in a large, deep frying pan over a medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat to medium-low, and then slowly add the sauce.
  5. Allow the chicken and sauce to bubble for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Make sure the chicken is completely covered in the sauce.
  6. Add the pasta to the pan and mix until covered in the sauce. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges if you fancy.


Greek pasta salad

The lighter option – but still just as tasty

450g fusilli
1 clove of garlic
3 cucumbers
1 red onion
180g tomatoes
200g feta cheese
150g pitted black olives
½ teaspoon dried oregano
100ml olive oil
50ml red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions. Then drain well and rinse with cold water.
  2. To make the dressing, whisk the oil, vinegar, oregano, and a generous helping of salt and pepper in a bowl. Mince the garlic, and then add to the sauce.
  3. Slice the onion, olives, tomatoes and cucumbers.
  4. Chop the feta into squares.
  5. Add the vegetables, feta and pasta to a large salad bowl, and then drizzle over the dressing.
  6. Toss gently until all mixed, and then serve.